Aubrey Cheney gets eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 03/25/2009
Aubrey Cheney was revealed to be the fourteenth contestant to be eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"I can now look back at what I was [like before my time on The Biggest Loser ranch] and realize how unhappy I was and how I was just going through the motions of life, but I wasn't living," the 28-year-old information and education specialist from Gooding, ID, said following her elimination. I've had a taste now of what it's like to have energy and to be happy and to really mean the smile that I put on my face. My kids are gonna see a side of their mom that they haven't seen in a long time."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' eleventh episode began with the Black team's shocked reaction upon learning that the Blue team had eliminated Cathy Skell following the previous weigh-in instead of Aubrey.
"I can not believe that Aubrey just walked in the door. I mean, it shouldn't be Cathy, Aubrey should be the one going home," said Mike Morelli, an 18-year-old student from South Lyon, MI, upon learning of Cathy's elimination. "I just feel bad that [Cathy's daughter Kristin Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI] has to go through that. Losing your mom in this game is horrible."
The following day, both teams entered the gym to find The Biggest Loser: Couples host Alison Sweeney, who surprised the contestants by telling them that they would no longer be competing together in teams and would be competing against each other singles for the rest of the competition.
"I made it to singles, that is like the last stage of being on the ranch," said an excited Aubrey. "I'm almost there, I'm almost there."
After returning each contestant's original colored shirt to them, Alison also revealed that they would have to decide whether they wanted to train with either Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper for the remainder of the competition and would have 30 minutes to think about their decisions.
The contestants then disbanded to think about which trainer they preferred. While Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ, had little trouble making up their his mind given his falling out with Jillian a few weeks prior, Aubrey struggled with her decision. In addition to noting Jillian's recent success with training contestants who eventually went on to win the competition, Aubrey also noted Bob's ability to "open the door" for her to succeed when she trained with him.
"It's just such a hard decision, they're both such excellent trainers," she said.
Upon reconvening in the gym with Alison, Jillian and Bob, each contestant revealed whom they wanted to train with.
Mike; Tara Costa, a 23-year-old finance manager and former model from New York, NY; Helen Phillips, a 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI; and Laura Denoux, a 24-year-old sales director and former model from Miami, FL chose to train with Jillian, while Kristin; Filipe; Aubrey; Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ; and Ron Morelli, a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor from South Lyon, MI, chose to train with Bob.
The newly individual contestants then went to train with their newly chosen trainers before meeting once again with Alison for what they were told was the first part of their challenge for the week.
After meeting on a basketball court with scales across from individual stacks of blocks representing the amount of weight that each contestant had lost while on the ranch, Alison revealed that each contestant would be able to distribute their amount of lost weight to any of the other contestants for the second part of the challenge. However, Jillian refused to reveal any additional details about the second part of the challenge, except to say that its winner would receive immunity at the upcoming weigh-in.
Since the contestants felt that two of the strongest remaining contestants in the game were Tara and Helen, they received the bulk of the weight, with Tara receiving 257 pounds and Helen receiving 215 pounds. Sione followed next, receiving 92 pounds from the contestants, with Aubrey receiving 72 pounds, Filipe receiving 67 pounds, Mike receiving 63 pounds and Ron receiving 37 pounds.
After the first part of the challenge, Tara got upset she'd been singled out by the other contestants and stormed away to be alone, despite Aubrey and Helen's insistence that her receiving the weight was more of a compliment than anything.
Laura was eventually able to track Tara down while walking outside the ranch. After initially saying that she was going to throw the weigh-in and get herself sent home because she didn't want to deal with the pressure of being a frontrunner anymore, Laura was able to talk Tara back into sticking in the competition.
"If you wanna give up, pack your backs and leave, but I don't think that's what you wanna do, because you're here to lose weight for you, for Tara, not for, not for Jillian, not for all these frickin' people here, nobody," Laura told Tara sternly before getting her to return to the ranch.
The following day, the contestants learned of the second part of their challenge after traveling to the Auto Club Speedway and meeting with Alison -- who stood alongside race cars colored for each participant -- and NASCAR professional Clint Bower. Alison revealed that each contestant would have to pull their respective race cars nearly half a mile down the track to the finish line, with the first person to do so winning immunity.
Alison revealed that the weigh given to each contestant at the first part of the challenge would be added to the car, making the cars -- each of which had already weighed nearly 2 tons -- even harder to move.
The challenge then got underway, with Sione and Mike jumping out to a quick lead. However, eager for some revenge against the contestants who had piled weight onto her, Tara steadily gained ground on Mike and Sione after a slow start and eventually jumped into the lead as Sione and Mike began to fade. After maintaining a consistent speed by getting the car's momentum moving in her favor, Tara went on to win the challenge in a landslide, easily beating out Mike and Sione who finished in second and third place respectively.
"Victory has never tasted so sweet," and pumped up Tara said following her victory. Day in and day out I worked my butt off and everyone realizes that. Hold it against me, and I'm still gonna do the best that I can. But my best is better than yours."
Upon returning to the ranch, Tara received additional kudos from Jillian, who was impressed by her ability to fight back from adversity.
"Way to stick it to 'em," Jillian told her encouragingly.
Both teams then participated in their last chance workouts with Jillian and Bob before heading to their weigh-in for the week. Because the Blue and Black teams had been dissolved, Alison said that each contestant would weigh-in individually. The two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight-loss would fall below the yellow line and be put up for an elimination vote by the remaining contestants.
Because she won immunity, Tara weighed in first. Despite only needing to lose four pounds to become the first woman in The Biggest Loser history to lose 100 pounds on the ranch, Tara fell just short, losing 3 pounds for a weight loss percentage of 1.52%.
However, Kristin managed to set the record on her own weigh-in, losing 8 pounds for a loss percentage of 3.04%.
"I just can't believe how far I've come," she said after her record-breaking weigh-in. "This has been the most amazing experience of my life."
Kristin would go on to finish third in the week's weigh-in results, behind Laura, who lost 7 pounds for a weight-loss percentage of 3.18%, and Ron, who lost 10 pounds for a percentage of 3.06%.
Helen followed in fourth place, losing 5 pounds for a percentage of 2.75%, while Sione came in fifth place after losing 7 pounds for a 2.56% percentage and Mike came in sixth place, losing 6 pounds for a weight-loss percentage of 2.22%, leaving Aubrey (4 pounds for a 2.05% loss) and Filipe ( 4 pounds for a 1.05% loss) below the yellow line.
Upon convening to decide who to eliminate, Aubrey stated that she was "not ready to go yet," and "scared to go home," while Filipe urged everyone to simply vote with their hearts.
After Filipe and Aubrey left the room, Helen admitted that she didn't know what to do, while Ron said that the decision was harder than he initially thought it would be.
Sione came to Filipe's defense saying that he needed to be on the ranch and that there were "a lot of things in his life that got him to the point where he was at," and worried that it would not be easy for him to continue losing weight at home.
"I knew I had to plead his case. I knew I had to be the one to fight for it," Sione added later.
Upon going to the elimination room, things initially looked grim for Filipe after receiving votes from Tara and Laura. However, after votes for Aubrey by Mike, Helen, Kristin and Ron, he was spared and Aubrey was revealed to be the next contestant eliminated from the competition.
In the post-show update, it was revealed that Audrey had struggled and actually gained nine pounds upon initially returning home. However, it added that she had subsequently recommitted herself and lost the nine pounds she'd gained plus an additional 10 pounds and hoped to drop 30 more pounds by the show's finale.